ksolaris: (nana)
Hello, world!

Yes, I've finally found the time and energy to actually write a blog post that doesn't mainly cosist of bullet points. Hehe. I've spent about a week, staring at LJ, and telling myself to write something, only to end up shutting down the LJ window, and napping at my desk at the office. We always do that when there's no calls, and we've run out of websites to surf. :D

I suppose the excessive napping can be blamed on the fact that I'm still not used to commuting between Makati and Quezon City everday. Oh well.

Anyway, since November 15, a lot of things have happened. As mentioned previously, we moved house, and instead of being southern, condo-dwelling, Makati city rats, Ian and I are now suburb-dwelling, northern, Fairview... um... rats. Seriously, though, we've moved into the first floor of Ian's parents' house. :p

The house used to be a bungalow, but since last year, it's been remodeled and expanded, and a second floor has been added. So, while Ian's parents and sisters have their rooms at the second floor, a good chunk of the first floor has been allocated to us, and we even have our own bathroom and kitchen. It's probably the biggest place we've ever stayed in, maybe even bigger than my old apartment in Sampaloc (and many of our friends who have been to the Sampaloc place would know that it was roomy!).

Of course, I can't deny that we do miss the convenience of being able to WALK to work if we chose to, or being able to go out of the house at 3AM and walk into some restaurant that caters to whatever craving we might have at the moment. We also miss being able to step out of the office and be home, showered, and in bed in 20 minutes flat.

The pros greatly outweight the cons, though, as moving to Fairview means that we no longer have to deal with rent, association dues, and electricity bills. That's about Php10,000 per month that we no longer have to pay for, which is a huge burden off of our shoulders. Now, all we have to save up for would be commuting expenses, and whatever else we think we should save up for, such as books, Cheetos, popcorn, ice cream and Bacos. Hehe. XD

And speaking of commuting... well... the 1 to 2-hour commute (depending on the day of the week and the weather) takes a bit of getting used to, especially for someone like me who gets impatient quite easily. I'm just thankful that there are many routes to and from Makati, and that there are many buses, trains and FX rides that ply those routes. This means that I can get to and from work in only 1 or 2 comfortable rides, instead of, say, 4 rides like some of my officemates who live at places even farther away.

Meanwhile, as for the experience of moving house again, my first week was weird because I kept forgetting that we LIVED there now. For some reason, I kept waking up thinking that I was only going to spend a night or two there, like what we used to do during my days off. It took me more than a week before I could finally wrap my mind around the fact that FAIRVIEW would be the place that I'll be going home to everyday, from now on. Haha!

To add to the confusion, our new home was a MESS during our first week, as we struggled to get stuff out of bags and boxes and tried to find places for everything. We also decided to sort through all that stuff and try to find things that we can finally part with, since it was already a given that we'll be acquiring even MORE stuff along the way, anyway. And then there's also all the cleaning, mounting, wiping, sweeping, scrubbing, washing and organizing that had, and still need to be done. Needless to say, I was exhausted for the whole week, and I worried endlessly about our laundry since I haven't used a washing machine since I was in high school. One has to understand that for the past ten years or so, "doing the laundry" for me, was dropping it off at the laundry shop, then coming back a week or so later to find it all clean and neatly-folded. Sigh.

Right now, our room already has some semblance of order to it, though we're still trying to figure out where to place our basket for dirty clothes, and some other knick-knacks and boxes we have lying around. I've also managed to add more clothing to our huge plastic storage box which contains items we plan to sell on eBay, and I've also filled up a large paper bag with clothes and other items that I'll be dumping at my parents' place, since they have a penchant of giving stuff away and they know lots of people who may need it.

Meanwhile, one of the first things that we did upon moving in was to find and visit the nearby thrift and surplus stores. Haha! So yeah, stuff-acquiring is imminent.

Oh, and one other perk of moving into an actual house is that we have pets. :3 There's two dogs who stay in the area behind the house, close to our kitchen (which we refer to as "Door B"), and at our front door, in a huge cardboard box, is the family cat who just gave birth to a litter of four kittens yesterday ("Door C"). Then, in case you were curious, the other door which leads into the main area of the house ("Door A"), opens up to show couches, Ian's mom's beeeyooooteefoool, spankin'-new kitchen, and Ian's almost-one-year-old nephew, Josue. Hehe.

Well, THAT's long enough for now.

Pictures to follow once our new home doesn't look like a disaster zone anymore! ^_^
ksolaris: (word up)
I'm currently enjoying what little is left of my rest day, so I dropped by WalterMart to visit Netopia and have lunch. I noticed that there are ads here announcing that a new dance studio is gonna be opening at the 5th floor. The venue is still under construction, but I'm kinda interested because they offer yoga, and I've been hearing that yoga is actually good exercise for people like me with bad knee problems. My most recent stage dive has prompted me to actually try to find a more active solution to  the problem, as opposed to just taking supplements, and exercising at the gym (though I'm not about to stop either one of those, by the way).

I'm actually happy with all the new things popping up inside WalterMart, like the spankin' new office of the Camera Club of the Philippines, the new bake shop on the second floor, some offices, and now the dance studio. ^_^

As for lunch, though... I just ended up being rather pissed off at my attempt to get some nourishment.

I went to Mr. Choi Kitchen at the ground floor of WalterMart Makati, and it being only 10:30am, the place was EMPTY. I was the first person there, so I walked in, checked the menu and decided on what I wanted to order. I sat there for TEN MINUTES, and no waiter was approaching. I decided not to call out for one, because I figured they might just be busy with finishing up their shop-opening rituals or whatever. However, I noticed that the waiters were actually aware that I was there. They were looking at me, and ACTIVELY IGNORING ME. I finally decided to call over a waitress, and as I was about to order, I lightly pointed out what was happening. Her reply was "Akala po kasi nila hindi kayo customer." ("They thought you weren't a customer.")

I was pretty disgusted by this answer.

Not just because I wasn't wearing a blazer and a necktie, doesn't give anyone the right to automatically dismiss me as a vagrant.

So remember kids, if you want the waiters to actually serve you food when you pass by this establishment, remember to wear your prom gown or a barong tagalog.

Susmaryosep.

I did the most logical thing to do, which was eat at The Old Spaghetti House instead. XD
ksolaris: (word up)
Last July 24, Lem and I were walking around Mall of Asia after having a good dinner. We were just strolling, thinking about what to do and where to go next, when we decided to check out the movies and see what's on. We then passed by this row of stores:



The funny part is that I've never really noticed just how strategic the whole placement of everything was until I stood back a bit as I was waiting for Lem to purchase movie tickets. Coming from the entrance of the mall, you'll pass by this store first:



Makes sense. You need to propose to the girl of your dreams, pronto, so this is stage 1, where you purchase an engagement ring for her. And while you're at it, you could start picking out wedding rings for yourselves, too, just in case.

That's step 1. Next door would be step 2:



Okay, fine. So after purchasing the ring and all, you start fantasizing about your wedding, in case she says "yes". You can start canvassing for dresses, invitations, cakes, etc. However, after the wedding comes the honeymoon, of course. Hence, step 3:



Hmmmm... this part of the process screams of MOTIVE, and I think if the girl of your dreams saw you in there WHILE you're holding the newly-purchased engagement ring, I think that the chances of ever getting to steps 2 and 3 get a whole lot slimmer... unless she's into that sort of thing. XD

But hey, one-stop shopping is always a good idea, which is why I love groceries that display the salsa and dips right beside the nachos. :D In the case above, though... just don't get caught, I suppose. XD
ksolaris: (Default)
Yep, this is another one of my trademark much-delayed, image-heavy photo posts! And yes, once again, it features a couple of my favorite things in the whole world, namely food and good friends whom I haven't seen in a very long time.

I mentioned some time ago that one of my good friends from my Sutherland days has recently visited the country to take a short break from her job in Dubai. And yes, when she dropped by, she was so VERY rich, and treating out four people to a place that we would normally never even go anywhere close to was absolutely peanuts to her. Thank goodness, because if it wasn't for her generous visit, I don't think I would have ever gotten to try out a place like Thousand Cranes in Greenbelt. Also, considering our well-documented fondness for hotpot and shabu-shabu places, having been able to try a new place like this was just a real treat for Lem and myself.



Raz's Manila visit, a mini-Sutherland reunion! Photos ahead! ) After all the activities of that day, I reluctantly had to leave early, and catch a cab to work. Sigh. I woud have really liked to stay behind a bit more, and maybe have a drink or two with the girls, and at the time, I was seriously considering calling in sick at the office. I didn't have a valid excuse, though, and I also realized that I needed the money and I was way past the allowed two-hours-before-your-shift allowance, so I dragged myself to work anyway.

Raz has since gone back to Dubai, and I sure hope we get to see her again some time soon! It's always so nice catching up with friends like that. ^___^ I just hope that the next time she drops by, maybe WE could end up treating her out instead, hehe.

ksolaris: (Default)
Yay for much-delayed and image-heavy posts!

First, some intermissions:

* GameLoft will be opening an office in Manila, and I am kicking myself as to why I do not have the qualifications nor the portfolio to try for the vacancies that they have recently posted. I am thisclose to emailing Vincent Ricot to beg him to let me work for them as... I dunno... a receptionist? Person who makes photocopies and coffee? Gargh. I KNEW I should have insisted on taking up Fine Arts back then... T_T

* As ganked from [livejournal.com profile] ruk, Epson has launched their recent photography/graphic arts contest. Prizes include a 2-day trip to Japan in order to attend the awards ceremony, 2 million Gil Yen, and some Epson goodies, of course. So, if you want to join, just check out Epson's site for complete details. I've been considering joining, but I realized that the world is not yet ready for my greatness... Yes, that's the caffeine talking. Pay no heed.

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Anyhoo, last July 6 was a very full and busy day. In the morning, we met up with [livejournal.com profile] magiqa whom we haven't seen for SO VERY LONG. Apparently, ribbon and lace was necessary to coax her out of her work schedule and spend some time with us, as she dropped by to purchase that loli headpiece that I posted about some time ago (my first customer! WHOO!). She's already written a better and more complete entry about that day, so I'll just leave it at that and let you guys go to her post if anyone's interested. :D

After spending the first half of the day with Elea, Lem and I then trooped over to Mall of Asia to meet up with my high school friends. A member of our group celebrated his birthday, and we were lured with the prospect of free food.

Hehe... seriously though, we WERE there to celebrate James' birthday, and I suppose it also served as a sort-of-going-away-party for Kate who, as of July 15, has already gone off to Singapore to work and live there for the next 2 years. James will also be following suit by July 24. I'm gonna miss them pretty badly, and I promised to write them letters once they're done with job-and house-hunting, and they figure out what their new mailing address will be. Sniff.

Anyway, moving on... we met up at Powerbooks and debated until we were finally able to make up our minds as to where we would be having dinner that night. We finally settled for Super Bowl of China, since it's one of the places that the celebrant really likes. When we got there, we were relieved to find that the place had plenty of available seats despite the fact that the mall itself was jam-packed with people (this is why I make it a point to avoid malls whenever they hold sales...). We then started ordering food and the celebration began! :D



Dinner at Super Bowl of China )

After gorging on all that food, James was apparently still not content with fattening us up, so we took a cab to Serendra (The Fort), and he also treated us to dessert at the much-hyped specialty shop, Cupcakes by Sonja.

I was pretty excited to finally get to try one of the famed cupcakes, since I've never had the chance to do so since the shop opened in late 2006. I've read a lot about it, and though the merchandise has received rather mixed reviews, I've always wanted to at least see the venue ever since I saw the photos from Jin Joson's Death Note cosplay shoot.


Cupcakes by Sonja. More, yes? No? Maybe? )

And that was how James' birthday went. Bow.
ksolaris: (Default)
I was feeling pretty sick and bummed out last week, so I decided to call in sick for my shift last Tuesday, and Lem convinced me to spend my days off (which are on Wednesdays and Thursdays) at his parents' house in Fairview. It was great. I've convinced myself that I should probably call in sick on a quarterly basis or something, just to keep myself from burning out completely. I never thought that a three-day weekend would be so nice.

Anyway, it was pretty cool since I was able to spend my rest days playing with their cats, and watching Lem's 6-month old nephew roll around on his grandparents' bed. Another fun thing is that the said nephew has recently acquired a new baby walker which has rendered him effectively mobile. It's always fun to watch him take his wheels for a ride, hehe. XD
 
I guess my only problem was that even during my rest days, I still slept during daytime to keep my body clock from going haywire on me. The good of it all was that I was able to spend my evenings editing and uploading photos, surfing, blogging, watching downloaded anime, and downloading music that I could stick into my new cellphone, all on a borrowed laptop. The bad part is that I missed the opportunity to sleep during the deliciously cool evenings, Lem was asleep while I was awake, and I ended up sleeping while everyone else in the house was already awake. This was rather awkward, considering that Lem and I slept on a mattress in the living room of their home's newly-constructed second floor (construction is still ongoing, and not all of the rooms have been completed yet. More on that next time...).
 
However, I guess it was also nice to nap in the mornings and afternoons, especially since the family cats were nice enough to keep me company, and we would end up napping together, with me on the mattress and them on the nearby rugs and mats. I have to admit that I've really missed the pleasant feeling of waking up and finding a pet nearby, even if it means waking up from time to time to shoo away the big tom cat who insisted on sleeping on Lem's side of the mattress while Lem was at work. I would have happily shared the bed space, but unfortunately, I'm scared of triggering Lem's allergies, so the tom had to settle for the rug.
 
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On Thursday morning, I hitched a ride with Lem's parents to Makati, and we dropped off his sisters at their respective college buildings inside the UP Diliman campus along the way. As we were going down the tree-lined streets, I realized that I never fail to be amazed at how pretty all that greenery is. I really wish that Lem and I could still afford to hang out at the campus as much as we used to. Oh well. Maybe we'll find some time soon.
 
-----------------------------------------
 
After leaving the UP campus, we headed straight to Makati and I tagged along as Lem's parents inspected their new unit at The Columns on Ayala Avenue. After the inspection, we were checking out the establishments at the ground floor of the building, and I was happy to find that a whole bunch of other shops have already settled in. I was especially pleased to find that a convenience store (MiniStop) has recently opened, but at the same time, the realization that Makati is being overrun with Starbucks outlets also finally dawned upon me.
 
We were checking out the new Starbucks branch at the ground floor of The Columns, when I realized that, wait a minute, there's also a Starbucks at the third floor of the RCBC Towers which is right accross the street. And another one at the ground floor of the PeopleSupport building which is right accross the street from RCBC. And then another one at the ground floor of the Standard Chartered building about 100 meters away down Ayala Avenue. And another one in Legazpi Village, near Washington Sycip park, a couple of blocks away. And then another one at the Insular Life Building. And another one at Enterprise Tower. And then there's one at the ground floor of WalterMart Makati. And three inside Glorietta. And one in Greenbelt... and all that's just on one side of Makati, along the Ayala and Pasong Tamo area, I haven't even mentioned the ones that can be found in the Makati Avenue and Jupiter street area, and I'm pretty sure that there's a whole lot more that I don't even know about, hidden in nooks and corners all over the Valero and PRC areas.
 
It's a little unnerving, as these are the ingredients that make up some of the tastiest (and silliest) conspiracy theories, RPG campaigns, and cartoon plots.
ksolaris: (nana)
I'm currently very exhausted and very sleepy. I can't wait for my workday to end so that I can go home, crawl into our bed and curl up under our sheets, and just stay there for the next twelve hours or so as I spend some time hibernating/recharging my batteries.

Anyway, I'm currently tired because I lack sleep. I lack sleep because I went out to meet a pair of old friends today. I went out to meet them because I haven't seen them in YEARS and it was wonderful to be able to spend some time with them again and do a bit of catching up. I especially don't regret it because of the fact that one of those friends, [livejournal.com profile] traze26, came all the way from Dubai, and probably won't be back in the country until Christmas or maybe even a full year later.

Long story short, Raz treated us to a wonderfully LOOOOOONG and HEAVY lunch at this place in GreenBelt called Thousand Cranes Shabu-Shabu. She also sent us home with tins of chocolate, and even treated us to coffee before we parted ways.

Good times. ^____________^

More details and matching photos once the photos actually get uploaded, and once I'm coherent enough to actually write a proper post.

For now, I'm looking forward to a good, long nap.

Five hours and counting.

(Thank you for today, Raz! ^_____^)
ksolaris: (Default)
First of all, a plug:
CNN is conducting a short survey. In return for your time, which would be about ten minutes, they will donate $2.00 to charity of your choosing. Now isn't that neat? I've personally chosen to give my $2 to the WWF. ^_^v So, just head over to CNN's website, and look for the following banner ads sprinkled around the pages:



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Here in Manila, summer has already been officially declared as over, and the rains have been making that point obvious. Sigh. I'm just glad that I was able to squeeze in a couple of out-of-town trips during that relatively short period, so that I could at least say that I HAD a summer to speak of. Haha!

The bad thing about the sudden transition from dry to wet season is that you get so used to anticipating sun and heat, that you never bother to bring an umbrella, except maybe on some whim. When you all get caught in the rain, though, that's when you realize that the umbrella that you brought with you yesterday just because you felt like it, is sitting on a shelf in your room today, all nice, dry and cozy.

And that's also probably the reason why today, I am sniffing and coughing like an asthmatic mongrel. Sigh.

--------------------------

Speaking of the rains, I got into a nasty spat with another commuter the other night, when I was taking a jeepney on the way to work. There was a really heavy downpour that night, and everyone just wanted to get under a roof or inside a ride. This office girl who was seated beside me, for some unknown reason, decided it would be a good idea to raise the plastic tarp that kept the insides of the jeepney from being drenched, just so she can take a peek outside at... more rain. Since she was seated in the middle of our row, and the tarp was one long piece, raising a part of it caused the water to slip down towards sides, instead of going straight down and falling harmlessly down the side of the jeepney.

I was to her right, there was another guy to my right, and to the man's right was the jeepney's entry/exit point. As the water slipped to the side, my back and my jacket got drenched after I took so much effort to keep myself dry, while the man's butt got wet because the water from the tarp pooled in his seat.

I called the girl's attention, and this is where it all went wrong.

Instead of at least TRYING to look sorry, or apologizing to us, the girl gave us that LOOK, then rolled her eyes at us and looked towards her friend who was seated to her left. I swear, I just snapped right then and there. A lot of sharp words were sent flying her way, and I finally got to use TWO lines that I've been saving for occasions like this, while the guy with the wet pants acted as my one-man pep squad:
1.) That's MISS bitch, you piece of shit!

and

2.) Well it's either you were born retarded or raised stupid, which one is it?? (I later realized that this line also works with the same potency if it were translated into the vernacular, so feel free.)

That pretty much threw the girl off-balance. Line #2 is affectionately attributed to Luis Sison Jr., who has, to my sincerest gratitude, prepared us for situations like this. Seriously, we used to joke around on what would be great things to sling at someone in an argument, and it looks like all that came to good use afterall. XD

The girl didn't really have much to say after that, though her friend was profusely apologizing on the other's behalf. However, the fun REALLY begins when they prepare to get off the jeepney.

They asked the driver to drop them off in front of King's Court along Pasong Tamo Avenue, and as we locals know, when it rains, that area tends to get flooded with enough water to go over the gutter. So, the friend disembarks first, and we watch as she skips quickly to the higher ground offered by the sidewalk. However, as our female offender was about to completely get off the jeep, she looks at us again, flips her hair, rolls her eyes at us and says, "Che!"

She doesn't get away with it, though, because with one foot on the little step on the back of all jeepneys, the man beside me TRIPS HER with his leg and causes her to fall face first into the flooded street, bag, purse, folders, binders, paperwork and all! XD Oh, sweet justice! And to top it all off, everyone else in the jeepney who was silent until then, all started cheering and clapping!

The jeepney then drives off, and the last we see of the girl is on her hands and knees in dirty floodwater, with the water reaching almost up to her elbows. I remember that only the area near her shoulders retained the gray color of her matching slacks and blazer, because all the rest of it got darker because of the water, but that small gray area turned dark as well because the rain was still pouring at the time. Her humongous bag was floating near her arm (and I could only imagine what happened to its contents), and a couple of folders were floating towards the nearest drain. Her friend could only watch from the sidewalk. I swear I'll never forget that. XD

The man and I did a hi-five, and I got off at my stop a couple of blocks later. I had to dry my jacket and the back of my shirt under the hand dryer at the office, but I didn't mind quite as much anymore. XD

So the lesson we learned here is: Don't be an asshat. ^_^v
ksolaris: (Default)
First off, a couple of things:

* From magnetic_rose:
A FINAL FANTASY VII: CRISIS CORE screenshot where an NPC (aptly named "Sephiroth Fan") professes that "Just thinking of the great Sephiroth stripped to the waist makes me dizzy."

Oh yeah. Me too, lady. Me too. Mmm... *thinks* *faints*

* World Pyro Olympics 2008
Yep, after we thought that we'd never see the Pyro Olympics again since the event was absent last Christmas season, it turns out that it's been moved to summer. The third World Pyro Olympics, 2008, will be from April 5 to May 3, and will be held at the Esplanade in SM MOA, as usual. ^__________^

* I also just wanted to say that I'm currently at a net cafe here in Makati, and it is GORGEOUS. A cozy atmosphere, recessed lighting, super fast PCs and internet connection, huge LCD screens, and ultra-comfy, high-backed leather recliners. And all for 20 pesos an hour... Mmmm.... Oh, and they serve cake and coffee (for an additional charge, of course).

----------------------------


Alright, now with THAT out of the way, here's the photos taken during our trip to Tagaytay last week! ^__________^


Hehehehe... sorry. I HAVE mentioned before, specifically during last year's trip to Puerto Galera, that the ultimate symbol of a vacation for me is being able to sit in a comfy spot with a view, while sipping a cold drink that has a fruit wedge on the rim, and a little paper umbrella in it.

Well, the paper umbrella was absent, but then it's just an accessory to the essence of it all. That photo above, would serve as my exclamation point to mark that day. ^________^

Now, enough of the camwhoring, and on with the actual trip photos.

First Stop:
Josephine Restaurant


Paella, lechon kawali and lumpia, oh my! )

And then comes dessert:
Bag of Beans


My sweet tooth fell in love at this point. )

A side trip:
Caleruega


And after ten years, I finally get to see it. )

Last but not least:
Mushroom Burger


Because NOBODY leaves Tagaytay without passing by Mushroom Burger )

Full set of photos can be found in my Multiply Album. ^^

That was a FUN day, and I just wish that a.)Ian was able to come along, and b.)I had more money to buy more burgers, or go back to Tagaytay, or treat our families to Bag of Beans.

I can't wait for a chance to go back! XD
ksolaris: (Default)
Yesterday, me and some of my very good friends from high school decided to take a quick trip to Tagaytay for a nice lunch and a small get-together. It was almost a spur of the moment thing, since the whole thing was only decided about two days before the day of the trip. It being my day off, and still feeling rather brave because I've just gotten my salary last weekend, I decided to give it a go since opportunities for stuff like this don't come my way very often.

So, after they picked me up from our condo building here in Makati at around 9am, we kept going down South Super Highway and made our way to Tagaytay! We got there at around 11:30am, which was just in time for lunch.

I love that place. The air is so fresh, and the whole area seems to be significantly cooler than Makati. The sight of beautiful trees, and lush, rolling hills also always puts me at ease. Oh, what I'd give to own a nice house in Tagaytay with a view of the lake!

Anyway, moving on with the story...

We only managed to decide where to spend our lunch after driving up and down Aguinaldo Highway several times. We then finally decided to eat at Josephine, since their portions seemed big, and we were already hungry from the long drive, and the fact that none of us had breakfast. Hehe. We settled ourselves at the tables in the al fresco area of the restaurant so that we can enjoy the cool breeze, as well as the view of the Taal volcano.

I know that Lem and I have been to Josephine's last year, during my cousin's wedding, and that this sort of contradicts yesterday's collective desire to try something that we don't normally get to try out when we're in the city. However, I discovered that it's one thing to be part of a wedding reception and eat whatever is served to you at the buffet line, and it's really something else to be able to sit down with your friends and order from the menu.

So, we ordered a plate of seafood paella, lechon kawali, some fried chicken that makes use of the restaurant's special recipe (it WAS rather yummier than most chicken I've tasted), and some fresh lumpia. As for drinks, I had a banana smoothie which had some lime juice in it.

After enjoying our lunch, we then headed to this place called Bag of Beans for dessert. The panna cotta and the chocolate mousse were AWESOME! Sinful, and it practically killed my diet, but AWESOME. We were supposed to try their famed coffee alamid, but they were out of the stuff by the time we got there. We also didn't bother with the meat pies and other pastries since we were completely stuffed from the lunch at Josephine.

After gorging on sweets, we went to Caleruega for some sight-seeing and picture-taking. It was pretty special for me to visit the place since I first missed my chance back in high school (I wasn't able to go since my parents wouldn't let me. Out of the entire high school, about 5 of us couldn't go. One was an AWOL stident, one was me, and the other three were down with Hepatitis, I think...). It was pretty cool to see some of the things that my friends have seen before. As for them, it was a chance for reminiscing, and a chance for filling me in with some of the details about what happened during our senior year retreat back then. Hehe.

We were so tired from going up and down Caleruega on such a hot day, so we decided to go home. However, we of course refused to leave Tagaytay without stopping by Mushroom Burger. I bought a couple of burgers to bring back home for Lem and me to have for dinner, along with some fresh greens that I also got from a vendor in Caleruega.

When I got home, I was tired from the travel itself, and from laughing so much throughout the entire day that I can only assume that I was snoring the moment my head settled into our pillows.

I love trips like this and I wish it happened more often! XD I also wish that I get paid more so I can actually afford such trips often. Haha! XD

Pictures to follow. ^___________^
ksolaris: (Default)
Just posting some photos that I've taken of Wasington Sycip Park. The park is right smack in the middle of Legazpi Village, right accross the Union Church of Manila. Ian and I like to hang out there whenever we feel the need to detox from the activity of the busy city of Makati. Since we don't really have the chance to head over to the UP campus and stroll under the trees and sit on the grass while eating fried fishballs, this is the next best thing. We consider it as a quick fix, which can then be capped by a cup of strawberry cornflake shake from Sango afterwards. Lolz.

As the date suggests, the photos were taken a few days before my well-documented haircut. I just figured that the last time I blogged about the park, I just took photos of the ducks but didn't really bother to note how pretty the place generally is. So, here's the results. ^_^;;


Insert cosplayer HERE. *points up*

Just taking a little stroll... )

(More photos in my Multiply Album)

I have to admit that the park is one of the reasons why we love staying where we are right now, despite some recent drawbacks. ^_^
ksolaris: (Default)
Hehe... yes, my little trip to the salon turned into a full-blown pilgrimage which spanned three cities and about 10 full hours or so. ^_^;;

I was originally supposed to go to Greenbelt and have my hair fixed at Piandre, until I managed to get one of my gay friends to accompany me to another salon in Robinson's Malate which he recommends.

So that's two cities: Makati and Manila.

Upon getting to the now-gorgeous Faura wing of Robinson's Malate, and after a meal at Chaikofi, we headed for Bench Fix. Unfortunately, Fix, as well as all the other salons in the mall, all refused to give me the curls that I so desperately wanted because of the glaring fact that my hair was rebonded.

Apparently, rebonded hair can never be permed as the chamicals needed for the job simply can't "stick" onto the hair for it to be actually effective. Had I insisted, they COULD have gone on with the operation, only for me to lose all that work the moment I showered. So, not only will the chemicals go down the drain, but my money along with it. They recommended that I either have my hair rebonded again (hence turning it into a permanent, vicious cycle), or I can wait for another year or so for more natural, untreated hair to grow out, all the while keeping my head a big, confused mess.

I swear, at that point, I felt like crying.

Thankfully, my friend James suggested that we try another mall in Manila to try to get one of those rotating hair brushes. He suggested that I can just get my hair rebonded again, and then just curl it as necessary.

It took two malls and a couple of hours for us to concede to the fact that the damn brush was not being sold anywhere, just when I needed it. Not completely giving up though, he showed me how to use benders and those curlers with the elastic bands on them in order to get curls into my hair if I wanted it. I bought a set and I'm waiting for a chance to try what I learned.

Anyway, as I was about to submit myself for another rebonding session at one of the mall salons, I backed out completely when I was informed of how much they will be charging me for rebonding EVEN IF I CROPPED MY HAIR REALLY SHORT. Now, I know that I said that I was willing to pay for some expert to perform a miracle on my hair, but I'm not THAT gullible.

Desperate, I called up Ian who was then in Fairview and asked if the original hair dresser who rebonded my hair back in May is still available. He made a quick check with his mom, and hallelujah, I got the go signal, and I immediately dashed for their little shop in Fairview, Quezon City.

I started my salon search at 9:30 am that day, got to Fairview by about 4pm, and had to stay in the salon chair until about 9pm.

Oh yeah. All for the sake of vanity, I tell you.

Peek-a-boo )

All in all, despite that whirlwind of a day, I got a new haircut, and I got rid of the problem areas which was my main goal anyway. It's still a shame that I couldn't get the exact style that I originally wanted, but I guess beggars can't be choosers, ne? ^_^;;

PS.
I got to pass by Ian's house in Fairview again, after a LOOOONG time, and have I mentioned that they've been adding a second floor to the house? The place is HUGE!!! And I absolutely love the fact that the rooms on the second floor all have access to this wide, common veranda which is big enough to accomodate a small coffee table, seats, and much more, now that I think about it.

Oh, and their local cat population has also now grown to four, with more on the way. XD
ksolaris: (nana)
Oh yeah... THIS is one of the sweet reasons of why we would happily troop to MOA on odd, unforgiving hours...


Hehe... yes, we were at MOA last December 4, and I was having fun with my camera's super macro function again. Sorry. XD

Anyway, it was my day off, and as usual, we spent the day just walking around the mall, window shopping and making fun of foreigners and high school students on field trips. I know. There ARE actually schools out there that conduct field trips to, of all things, a MALL... Hehehe...

Ian and I spent about an hour or so goofing off on the walk beside the bay, and it was pleasant to know that there's a fairly large police station in the area. Someone also built a play/exercise area behind the police station, complete with super-simplified versions of standard gym equipment. I thought it was a nice touch.

Beside the police station, there were also the the beginnings of a bayside restaurant strip, a la the Roxas Boulevard BayWalk (yes, Manila's pretty cake which the current mayor decided to sit on). This got me pretty excited because I really miss BayWalk a lot, with all its scattered stage performers, bands, comedians, fire breathers, mimes and robot men. (Um, okay, maybe not the mimes.)

Mmm... can you just imagine just how FUN that area can be, especially since it's also the best location for some of the best fireworks shows on this island?? Yup, bars, music, food and performers on the ground, and fireworks in the sky, AT THE SAME TIME... wouldn't that be wonderful, knowing the quality of fireworks shows that the Mall of Asia admin likes to put up? ^__^

MOA Baywalk pics! )

Anyway, we got tired eventually, and it also started to drizzle so we decided to retreat into the mall again. Apparently, all the frolicking on the BayWalk made us hungry, so we made our way to the foodcourt and had a meal at Fat Boy's. On our way there, we encountered more silly little things like this:


Yeah, signs like this gives us the idea that IT'S BEEN TRIED BEFORE, hence making the existence of that sign necessary. ^_^;;

More signs for those who may actually need it )

More random pics! )

(more pics in my Multiply album. ^_^)
ksolaris: (Default)
Yes, Ian and I finally managed to visit TriNoma, the newest Ayala mall which everyone has been talking about for the past few months.

Actually, the original plan was to visit Spazio Bernardo which is a condo that is located along Mindanao Avenue. Ian's family is going to be setting up a business in the unit that they've bought at that place, so Ian and I wanted to go and check it out. No thanks to today's weather though, we got terribly lazy, and the farthest that we got ever got to after boarding the MRT at the Magallanes station, was TriNoma... which, by the way, is directly connected to the MRT's North Avenue station, the last stop of that train line... which is also about 15 minutes away from Spazio Bernardo. So there. See? We had a valid excuse for malling on a cold, rainy day.

*cough*

Anyway, upon getting inside the mall, Ian and I had the same thought: "Oh my God, we're in Glorietta."

Haha! We mean that in a very good way, though, because as we continued to take a tour of the new mall, we began to see that the designers of TriNoma seem to have taken all of the good elements from other Ayala-owned shopping centers, refined them, and then put them all into one structure. For example, at the ground floor, the place does feel like Glorietta because of the activity area which served as the focal point of the large space, but where Glorietta felt a teeny bit too crowded at times (partly due to the fact that vendors also shared the space), TriNoma's activity area worked rather well because it didn't have the little food kiosks scattered about, and was instead surrounded by a neat line of actual food establishments.

Also, one thing that has always frustrated me about Glorietta back then, was how the layout of the mall was sort of shaped like a snowflake with something in the middle, and then a number of small avenues and corridors radiating from it, and criss-crossing around it. I have a BAD sense of direction, and trying to find a specific shop or restaurant in that place used to be such a pain. This didn't happen in TriNoma, even though it also had its share of small alleys.

From the first floor, Ian and I then moved on to the second floor which had the food court, where we had some shawarma rice for lunch (and for dinner, we had food from the Japanese place called "Smairu". They serve CHEESE TOFU, my new favorite oxymoron). My favorite thing about the food court was the existence of booths! Ian and I didn't get to use it though, since the longest that I saw it unoccupied was about five seconds.

While taking a tour, we found an outlet of CD-R King (I finally got a new pair of headphones that DOESN'T have that Madonna-inspired mic), Comic Alley (where I picked up a Death Note replica as a present for someone), Comic Odyssey and Neutral Grounds. You know, the important stuff.

The top floor was the clincher, though, because it looked just like, TADAH! Greenbelt! Haha! I swear! The indoors portion of the fourth floor looked just like the old foodcourt of Greenbelt before it got renovated, complete with the movie ticket booth, and a TimeZone branch.

The loveliest (and most expensive?) parts of TriNoma, though, would be the outdoor areas on every floor. It had fountains, plants and walkways, all surrounded by nice, fancy restaurants, and yes, it looks just like the open-air areas of Greenbelt. Not all of the restaurants have opened yet though, but I'm sure that once everyone is up and running, those areas would look gorgeous at night. Also, if you were to look out from the railing at the fourth floor, it might be the best point where you'll be able to appreciate the way that the building sort of "cascades" downward. It's sort of shaped like the rice terraces, where the lowest floor is jutting out, and the floor above it is slightly shorter and you can still see a portion of the first floor, and so on. You then realize later that this is a theme that seems to be repeated, even in the way that the escalators were placed!

We got to try the cinemas, too, as we watched I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and we loved the movie theaters. Air-conditioning that isn't too cold, thick carpets, comfy seats with armrests that you can raise, reserved seating... just the way we like it. ^_^

And the best part? Even though TriNoma is in the heart of Quezon City and we live in Makati, we didn't have to go through the hour-long (or longer) commute to get home. All it took was a 20-minute train ride, and voila! We were... BACK IN GLORIETTA! Haha! Kidding aside though, once we were back in the Ayala Station of the MRT, getting home was easy since the Glorietta area is practically our neighbor.

So yeah, all in all, that was a good trip, and we really enjoyed ourselves at that place, which may have been a good thing, since I just learned from h_matsumoto that a shoot-out occurred in the middle of Makati earlier today... O_O;;;;;;; But that's another story.
ksolaris: (Default)
Yesterday, Ian bought a copy of Michael Moore's Sicko, and after we watched it, we decided that someday, we're migrating to either Canada, UK or France. Somehow.

While we were watching, I kept remembering those years when my dad stayed in the US. He used to tell me that he would avoid going to the hospital if he could help it since the trip would apparently cost him about a week's worth of hard-earned wages. He also had a cyst on his back which was just removed by my uncle who is a doctor, all in my uncle's basement where my dad has set up camp while he was in New York. After the operation, my dad wouldn't even dare go to the clinic to have the wound dressed, and he'd just wait for either my uncle or my aunt (who is a nurse) to get back and dress it for him. In exchange, he'd chip in for the week's groceries or do some minor repairs around the place.

Anyway, the last time that I met up with my folks, my dad mentioned that he may be going to Canada by either January or February 2008, if all goes well.

I really hope that all goes well.
ksolaris: (Default)
Yep, as ruthless as I plan to be with regards to my upcoming corporate conquest (operative phrase: "PLAN TO BE"), I love my days off, too. So, yesterday, it suddenly occured to my boyfriend and I to head to Mall of Asia for the day since we haven't been there for quite a while (don't worry WalterMart, we still love you). I'm quite happy that I agreed to the idea, as the trip turned into a date even though our original plan was just to walk around aimlessly, windowshop and make fun of tourists from afar.

We did all those, too, of course, but I guess the highlight would be that we finally got to try out Tokyo Cafe after eons of saying that we would. It also helped that because my day off falls on a weekday, MOA was relatively uncrowded and we were able to meander along happily without bumping into any potential stress-starters.

Ian and I have been together long enough for him to know just how much I take delight in trying out food establishments that we've never tried before, so I was giddy when he gave me his permission to drag him inside Tokyo Cafe.

He had the Yoshi Burger (Good stuff. Must try the Gyoza Burger next time...), while I had their Chicken a la Pobre (which was really tasty!!). I didn't have rice with my chicken because I wanted to make room for dessert. After all, I couldn't bear to leave without having tried one of their crepes. We had the Very Berry crepe to end the dinner and it was absolutely great! The blueberries weren't too tart, the syrup wasn't too sweet, and the crepe wasn't too soggy. They were also generous with the whipped cream and the ice cream.

The next time that we go there - oh, yes, there will be a next time - we plan to try the Hamburg(er) + Tempura thing that they have, probably one of their pasta dishes, and either another type of crepe or this dessert called Symphony, which, if I remember correctly, is described as something that has layers of ice cream, coffee jelly, whipped cream and also has a shot of espresso to top it off. Mmmmm....

Oh yeah, and the best part about Tokyo Cafe? The meal didn't cost me my spleen, as I first expected, and in fact, they don't even bill you for any service charge, and that's even though I think they should because the waitresses were really polite and attentive. Now that I think about it, eting at Amici's can possibly cost more, and Amici's is more of a self-service type of place to boot.

Anyway, we meandered and mocked a bit more after dinner, before we decided to finally get a ride home. It was a good thing that we skipped seeing a movie, since when we left the mall, it was raining really hard and the taxi line was long (have I mentioned that the monsoon season has begun and it's been raining for two days straight...?). We DID pass by the line for the local movie premiere of Blades of Glory, though, just as the audience was being ushered into one of the theaters. I asked Ian if he'd like to go see the movie as well, but when he saw the movie poster for it, he shuddered and asked for us to move away from the cinemas. ^_^;;; I sorta wanted to go see it, actually. Hehe.

All in all, though, that was a REALLY good day in my book.

Now, back to plotting my conquest.
ksolaris: (Default)
Finally, here's the last batch of photos from our trip to Puerto Galera (that's right, you'll just have to bear it a little while longer...). And the highlights for those days? Henna tattoos, shopping for souvenirs and then the return to Manila. :D


Day 3: Ink, ink, ink! )

Day 4: Bye, bye, Galera. T_T )

As always, more photos are up at my Multiply account, for both Day 3 and Day 4. :D
ksolaris: (nana)
Picking up from where I left off yesterday, I did mention that our second day in Puerto Galera was spent island-hopping.

I have to admit that so far, that has been one of the most tourist-y things that I have ever done. Lolz. Anyway, we arranged for the resort to get us a boat that would take us all around the place. For the entire day, we ended up going to random rock formations in the middle of the sea, a tiny cave (which someone was apparently planning to use for a barbeque), the town of Muelle, and White Beach, among many others.



Blue Water, Blue Sky )

The rest of the pictures for day 2 are all at my Multiply account. ^_^v
ksolaris: (Default)
Hehehe.... I've been raving about going to Puerto Galera last month, but I never really managed to post the pictures... until now! Har har har!!

So, here's photos and stories from day 1 of the trip. ^_^

Maaa~~ just looking at the pictures is making me want to go back there already. :p

Oh, and yeah, GET TO SEE MY NEW HAIRCUT! Mwahahaha!!! Lookie!!



Hello, Galera!! )

(We took A LOT of pictures that day, so I only posted some select ones here. The rest of the photos can be viewed on my Multiply account, in case you're interested. :D)
ksolaris: (Default)
Yes, my darlings, silly little K is back from the white sands of Puerto Galera. Hehe... you'd be amazed at what four days with nothing but relaxing at the beach can do to a person's psyche. I'd recommend it to everyone, except that would mean more difficulties with making reservations for my next vacation (which I am now planning and scheming for. Mwahahahaa...).

And yes, one of the first things that I did when I got to Galera was get a nice, tall glass of mango shake and relax on one of the hammocks in the hotel which overlooks a vast expanse of crystal-blue water. The mango shake didn't have the little paper umbrella, BUT it was cold, and it did have the bendy straw and the wedge of fruit balanced on the rim of the glass. I was completely serious about that bit. THAT was my whole vacation, symbolized.

Anyhoo, things that I'm currently feeling happy about:

- A happy and memorable 4-day vacation! (Pictures to follow!)

- I finally got a henna tattoo. Lem likes it so much that he told me that he's starting to wish that it's permanent. (Yep, pictures to follow, too.)

- The first thing that I did upon getting back to Makati was... TADAH!! WATCH PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN 3!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

- After 54 joyful hours and several buckets of happy tears, I've finally finished Okami. Yes. I took my own, sweet time with it. I tend to do that with beautiful games, but imagine my joy when I found out that it had a New Game Plus.... Hehehe....

- I managed to sell my Nokia 6630 the very next day after coming from Galera. (thank you, Marlon!!) :D

Yayness. :) More updates later.

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